Bless your little pea-pickin hearts! Really, you guys are the best. Not only did you give me great suggestions, but even though I knew summer was hard for other mom's, I didn't realize it was as hard for them as it was for me. I'm not an alien life form! (that probably doesn't make you all feel better, to know we're so alike, but I'm feeling LOTS better)
I thought I'd give you an update on what I've implemented this week--all of it based on help from you guys. LuAnn Staheli sent me a copy of the chore list she does with her kids. I adjusted her chart to fit my house and each of my 3 older kids (13, 11 & 8) have 3 chores a day. My youngest (5) will take turns helping one of her siblings for a week, therefore learning how to do it. They don't get rides or computer, Nintendo or TV til their chores are done but they ALSO get a Popsicle when they finish--so there is double reward. Granted they are usually on their first sugar high of the day by 10:00 a.m. but who really cares? Not me.
I had heard something about a movie program for kids at our local theater but hadn't searched it out, turns out it's a free movie every week. My kids will be there, with a dollar a piece to buy a treat. That's two hours of NO KIDS every week. It will be my sacred time for nothing but writing. I have insisted on a ten o'clock bedtime, as per LuAnn's suggestions. They can stay up in their rooms, but not around me! And I'm getting up at 7:00 so that I can get an hour of computer time in before any of them wake up. So far this has worked, I don't close my blinds at night so the sun keeps me from sleeping too long. It's wonderful to have a quiet house.
I will be purchasing a Slip and Slide and a sprinkler of some kind this week. I made a list of daily things I need to do too, so I don't get buried in housework, and I do them while the kids are doing their chores and constantly interrupting me anyway. Once they've finished their chores they are starving for lack of animation and I get a little more peace as they toke up with Spongebob and Lego Star Wars. I made a list of dinners and posted them on the fridge so at least I know what my options are. We'll see how that one goes, but at least it's a start.
I really appreciate all of you guys talking me out of the straight jacket I was beginning to feel was inevitable. As an extra bonus, my daughter is volunteering in Salt Lake one day a week all summer and I was grumbling about taking her down there today (an hour each way) but then I remembered Rob Wells saying he liked to write at the Salt Lake Library. So I tried it, and wow, it was great! I wrote for almost two uninterrupted hours. Pure joy.
Anyway, the point is that I think I will survive after all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, may you all have good sunblock and marshmallows on hand at all times.